Preach!

Some good “slooge” {as my good friend Gunny would say} on preaching:

“Humor in the pulpit can be very dangerous. It’s like a narcotic. Your people will love it (how much more entertaining to hear you riff on something than to teach Leviticus or talk about sin). You’ll love it (less sleeping, more laughing at how hilarious you are!). And the temptation will be for you to give the people more of what they want and less of what they need. I listen to about 10 sermons a week, and some of the guys I listen to are both funny and really good teachers. But here’s what I notice… they have to tell three jokes for every one that really lands. Two out of three just kind of linger there and die. And so the whole sermon feels like it’s being interuppted by second rate comedy. Over time, my fear is that the people will come hungry for your humor and not necessarily for the word of God. They will be dependent on you and your charisma and your sense of humor, and you’ll never be able to plant churches because you can’t find anyone else as funny as you are, and so you’ll have to pipe your sermons into other locations.” Michael Mckinley

“In his opening chapter The Primacy of Preaching from the book Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea For Preaching Dr. Al Mohler wrote, “Evangelical pastors commonly state that biblical preaching is the hallmark of their calling. Nevertheless, a careful observer might come to a very different conclusion. The priority of preaching is simply not evident in far too many churches.

We must affirm with Luther that the preaching of the Word is the first essential mark of the church. Luther believed so strongly in the centrality of preaching that he stated, ‘Now, wherever you hear or see this Word preached, believed, professed, and lived, do no doubt that the true ecclesia sancta catholica (Christian, holy people) must be there….And even were no other sign than this alone, it would still suffice to prove that a Christian, holy people must exist there, for God’s Word cannot be without God’s people and, conversely, God’s people cannot be without God’s Word.’”

Before he died the great Bible expositor James Montgomery Boice wrote, “I do not think it is too much to say that preaching really is an essential means perhaps even the most important means, of grace. If that is the case, then we should be very careful in our Christian lives to expose ourselves to the best teaching and attend the best churches available.” Caleb Kolstad

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3 comments

  1. No cupcake sermons for me! Our family is very happy and satisfied, for we have meat offered to us every Sunday by the best teacher -and in the best church- in Kaufman. (Our leadership is so humble, and our congregation is usually so reserved with our compliments, and I myself am not flippant with my words, therefore I thought it wouldn’t hurt to offer just a little well-deserved praise. After all, to God be the glory, anyway!)

  2. Rabbi,

    Can you please send Shelley out to Scottsdale AZ? From what I read of her on you blog, you could build a pretty solid church with a congregation of souls like hers.

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